“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
Servant Leaders understand that when someone has broken your trust, it is a challenge to forgive and move forward. Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, in the chapter on Restoring Trust When it has Been Lost provides us with two guidelines to consider when others have lost your trust.
Don’t be too quick to judge
You know what it feels like when someone doesn’t trust you. Even worse, when you have been misunderstood, misinterpreted, or misjudged. So put the shoe on the other foot. Don’t assume that a failure of competence equals a failure of character. When we realize that some mistakes are not intentional, we can try not to make something more than it should be.
Do be quick to forgive
Forgiveness and trust are two different things. We cannot keep forgiving behavior that keeps happening over and over again. This is not Smart Trust. Forgiveness means that we can heal ourselves from the anger, blaming, vindictiveness, accusing, and retribution toward the person who caused the offense. Whether they did it intentionally or accidentally, we can refuse to take the role of judging them. We can let go of what is not in our control.
Now, forgiveness is not easy and for most of us takes divine intervention. But, whether or not we choose to trust, we must forgive- for our sake and the sake of others. Until we do, it is difficult for us to exercise Smart Trust, our Analysis, and our Propensity to Trust.
Covey says that “Forgiveness is a principle for a better life. It’s about righting wrongs. If we don’t forgive, we get in the way of our own clear judgment, emotional freedom, and we may also get in the way of someone else’s self-forgiveness and personal change.” This is a pretty heavy concept, right? We get in the way of some else’s self-forgiveness…
Lord Herbert, British Philosopher and Theologian puts it this way, “He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he, too, must pass.”
Servant Leaders understand that it is in our best interest and others best interest to forgive. We are global citizens, a part of the human race, and as such, we can move ahead in resilience knowing that forgiveness brings an inner calm and ever abiding peace.
For many of us, broken trust is a deal breaker; a dead end. It’s the end of a relationship, and even worse, the end of self-confidence in the ability to ever trust again.
It doesn’t have to be. It can the start of a new beginning. Take for example;
If you’ve broken trust
- It’s an opportunity to get your act together.
- You can improve your character and competence.
- You can begin to behave in ways that inspire trust.
- It provides an opportunity for you to create more high-trust relationships in the future.
If someone has broken trust with you
- It’s an opportunity for you to grow your ability to forgive.
- You can learn to extend Smart Trust.
- Yu can maximize whatever is left to create dividends in the relationship.
In the end, Servant Leaders understand that in either situation, broken trust presents an opportunity for one to build up their self trust and personal credibility. It gives Servant Leaders a chance to grow in character and competence which provides the foundation for increased self-confidence in one’s discernment and ability to grow, restore, and extend trust on every level of one’s life.
As I write this morning to you, I have been presented with a real life situation in which to put these core values into personal action. I know that when one writes and teaches others about the concepts we’ve discussed over the past several weeks that I will be called to the carpet on them. It’s proof of what my Master teacher said to me, ““Crystal, you don’t have to be perfect in that which you teach. In fact, you can only teach that which you are learning.”
To Trusting Again,